Back in September, Kelly Slater properly announced his new brand, Outerknown. His Quik exit recently came as a surprise to a lot of people. His name had become nearly synonymous with the mountain and the wave logo, but back in April, after a quarter century of dining at the Quiksilver table, the Champ asked to be excused.
Rumors and speculation of Slater’s breakup with Quik having something to do with their business practices and sustainability concerns flew, and when he partnered with a French giant called Kering, many felt the rumors were proved true. Kering, which owns a veritable stable of brands, including Electric, Volcom, Gucci, and Puma, is known for their concern for big picture problems instead of solely their bottom line.
But there’s still been a little murkiness around when Outerknown would launch and what level of involvement Kelly would have and all sorts of other things we wanna know. Ticking off two of the boxes we’ve come to expect from the champ where big news is concerned (never gives away more than necessary, and does so by social media), Kelly fed the detail-lovers a little juice on Facebook recently:
I’ve had lots of questions in recent months about sponsorships, who’s supporting me, that sort of thing, so I figured I could most easily explain it here. I’ve been fortunate to go in a completely different direction and start a new brand called Outerknown.
Early on in the process, I met with The Kering Group to talk about partnering on brand creation and they immediately understood the ideas I/we had. We quickly came to an agreement of mutual support.
They’re helping Outerknown in any way necessary and I’ve become a #BrandAmbassador for any and all of their brands that make sense for both of us. In return Volcom, Electric, Cobra Puma Golf, and even Brioni, Balenciaga, Tretorn, Stella McCartney and others have all gotten behind me to lend their support in some way or another.
I’ll be working on surf specific product with Volcom and Electric and using Cobra/Puma golf gear while establishing Outerknown. I was recently in Paris to meet the whole team at #Kering headquarters.
I was totally blown away by their level of expertise in sustainability, sourcing and design across all platforms. I’ll dive a little deeper in future posts but in a nutshell, I’m beyond stoked with this opportunity and my new team.
I had no idea how many moving parts go into this endeavor and there is no better partner than Kering for what we’re doing. A huge thanks to everyone at the company and hope to get back and visit you all soon.